Parole Board of Canada announces process to suspend criminal records for cannabis possession

  • September 13, 2019

The Parole Board of Canada has established a streamlined application process for individuals with criminal records for simple possession of cannabis with no application fees or wait times.

Bill C-93, An act to provide no-cost, expedited record suspensions for simple possession of cannabis, is now in force. A record suspension allows individuals to have their possession offence kept separate and apart from other criminal records, if they have completed their sentence and demonstrated that they are law-abiding citizens. Simple possession generally refers to a criminal charge of a controlled substance for personal use, with no intent to traffic.

As part of the application process, applicants must obtain official documentation to demonstrate that they meet the criteria for a record suspension. Court records will not be required in cases where the criminal record check or police records check confirms that the conviction was simple possession, the only sentence imposed was a fine and/or victim surcharge, and the applicant has no other convictions on record.

As with other regular record suspensions, once ordered, the Parole Board will notify the RCMP, which will set aside the criminal record. Federal departments or agencies with records of the convictions will be directed to do the same. Relevant courts and police forces will also be notified.

While there is no application fee, there may be costs involved in collecting the documentation individuals need to support their application, such as court documents, police record checks and fingerprints. Individuals with unpaid fines and victim surcharges must pay outstanding amounts to become eligible to apply for a record suspension.

Information on the cannabis record suspension process is available at:



Telephone: 1-800-874-2652